So you want to be a cheerleader. You’ve watched Youtube video after video, you’ve watched the cheerleaders perform, and you’ve prepared for tryouts (maybe you’ve even just made the team!). Now, the only hurdle left is telling your parents. For some, telling your parents your want to be a cheerleader isn’t as easy as it seems. You might be nervous that they’d disapprove or not let you join the squad. Maybe they just want you to focus on school or join another sport. Or, maybe they just don’t know how much you want to be a cheerleader. Whatever the reason for your hesitation, we’re here to help! There are several ways you can approach your parents and share with them your desire to wear the cheerleading uniform. You’re afraid your parents won’t understand. A frequent fear of the hopeful cheerleader is that their parents won’t understand why they want to cheer. Many times, this thought only stems from the fact that your parents never knew your dream in the first place! Explain to them the reasons why you want to cheer, how your interest grew, and why you would enjoy it. Parents want their kids to be happy so focus on explaining why cheerleading would do just that! Your mom or dad wants you to play another sport. This is often the case if one of your parents played a particular sport growing up and he or she wants you to keep up the tradition. Let’s say mom or dad played tennis and wants you to tryout for the tennis team. While you don’t have any interest in playing tennis, you do want to cheer. It may be difficult, but you’ve got to tell your parents that their dreams aren’t the same as yours. Cheerleading is your tennis; just as they loved playing tennis, you want to cheer. Also, it may help to remind your parents that cheerleading requires just as much athleticism as any other sport. It’s competitive, it demands dedication, and rit equires hard work and drive. Your parents have fallen prey to negative cheerleader stereotypes. Unfortunately, there are a few negative cheer stereotypes‚ cheerleaders are ditzy, cheer isn’t a sport, cheerleaders don’t have good grades, cheerleading won’t help you get into college. It’s important to not only remind your parents that these stereotypes aren’t true, but to also show them how they’re not true. Put together some research that proves those stereotypes wrong. Show them that many cheerleaders are smart, go to college, and pursue careers in politics and science; reveal to them how much athleticism and drive cheerleading requires. Perhaps most importantly, explain to them that cheerleaders make a difference in their community, learn the value of teamwork, and dedicate much of their spare time to cheer. Your parents are worried your grades will slip. It’s natural for parents to want you to focus on your grades. They’re important! If you want to cheer, and believe you can handle both the rigorous training schedule and homework, then it’s important to tell (or even better, show) your parents that you can maintain your good grades. Talk to the cheer coach about the schedule to get an idea of how many hours a week the squad practices, competes, and performs. Then, create a weekly or monthly schedule, creating time blocks for homework and studying. If you plan out your schedule, not only will it help your parents see that you’ll still have time for school work, it will also show them that you’re serious about becoming a cheerleader. Your parents think cheer is too expensive. Cheerleading costs can add up and it’s natural for your parents to be worried about all the expenses. Ask the cheer coach what the typical fees are and find out if your school offers any kind of funding or scholarship. Many squads fundraise to help cut down squad fees. Let the coach know that you’re worried about all of the costs and see if you can do some extra fundraising or work out a payment schedule with the school. Many coaches and schools are accommodating so don’t assume that you can’t afford to join the team! Whatever the reason for your hesitation, don’t let the fear of your parents saying “no” prevent you from trying out for cheerleading. Open up to them and share all the reasons why you want to be a cheerleader! Did you have a hard time telling your parents you wanted to be a cheerleader? Are your parents supportive of you cheering? What are your tips for telling parents? Help a fellow cheerleader out and share your thoughts with a comment!